Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Missing toddler suspect says he's been made a 'scapegoat'.

By Ian Herbert
Published: 16 May 2007

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A British man who has been described as the "main suspect" in the Madeleine McCann inquiry said last night he was "absolutely horrified" to be under investigation, hours after Portuguese police disclosed they did not have enough evidence to make an arrest.

Robert Murat, 34, whose employment as a police translator on the inquiry is believed to have given him access to Madeleine's parents after she vanished, said he would "only survive" if Madeleine's abductor was caught. "This has ruined my life and has made things very difficult for my family here and in Britain," Mr Murat told Sky News, off camera. "I have been made a scapegoat for something I did not do." Mr Murat, who says he was at home with his mother from 8pm on the night that Madeleine disappeared, spoke as police continued to search the villa that he shares with his mother. It is no more than 160 yards from the holiday apartment from where Madeleine went missing.

The police inspector leading the inquiry, Olegario Sousa, said investigations would continue. "We are not saying we have no evidence, we are just saying we don't have enough evidence," he said.

Mr Sousa will not speculate on whether four-year-old Madeleine, who disappeared 13 days ago, might still be alive. He did confirm his prime suspect had worked as a translator on the police inquiry.

The Policia Judiciaria announced that their suspect, who was interviewed for 18 hours on Monday, had been declared an arguido - suspect or defendant - and had signed an identity and residence statement which prevents him from moving house or leaving the country, and requires him to report regularly to police.

Although individuals linked to a criminal inquiry may become an arguido to give themselves the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present at all times, it is clear that the status was imposed on Mr Murat.


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